The emerging role of flavonoid-rich cocoa and chocolate in cardiovascular health and disease

Nutr Rev. 2006 Mar;64(3):109-18. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2006.tb00194.x.


Cocoa and chocolate have recently been found to be rich plant-derived sources of antioxidant flavonoids with beneficial cardiovascular properties. These favorable physiological effects include: antioxidant activity, vasodilation and blood pressure reduction, inhibition of platelet activity, and decreased inflammation. Increasing evidence from experimental and clinical studies using cocoa-derived products and chocolate suggest an important role for these high-flavanol-containing foods in heart and vascular protection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Cacao / chemistry*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Flavonoids / administration & dosage
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use*
  • Food, Organic*
  • Humans
  • Platelet Activation / drug effects
  • Vasodilation / drug effects


  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids